Review of the Top 16 of the 2022 World Cup: Morocco Sets a Record, Portugal Goes Crazy!

Review of the Top 16 of the 2022 World Cup: Morocco Sets a Record, Portugal Goes Crazy!

The 2022 World Cup leaves the 8 best countries. After previously in the round of 16 they fought each other in order to extend their 'vacation' period in Qatar. From a total of 8 matches in the round of 16, of course, there were some unexpected surprises.

How is it possible that a country whose national team players are almost half not born in the country and is not seen as a country that can go this far can beat Spain.

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For that let's review briefly how the 8 matches in the top 16 went and their preparations for the quarter-finals phase.

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The story of the young team is over America at the 2022 World Cup. They departed with a mission to develop players at the international level to welcome 2026 World Cup held in America, Canada and Mexico.

Dutch managed to advance to the last 8 after defeating America with a convincing score of 3-1. That match set the stage for Denzel Dumfries who scored two assists for Depay and Blind, and he scored a late goal.

There are at least two things that need to be underlined. First, about Haji Wright's goal. Could that be the best goal of the tournament? Or is it the weirdest goal in the entire tournament? Begins from crossing flat, Wright uses his inside right foot to flick ball so that the ball slides up and into the goal. What a beautiful dol, eh strange!

The second was when Memphis Depay scored a goal, making himself the second highest scorer, shifting Klaas Jan Huntelaar with 43 goals. He has the opportunity to become the top scorer Dutch with just 8 goals to go. Because, there is Robin van Persie above who scored 50 goals for The Orange.

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The combination of young and senior players produced positive results for Argentina, they can beat Australia 2-1 with difficulty. Again, Lionel Messi was the best player in the match with one goal. While one more goal was scored by Julian Alvarez and Australia reduced the position through Enzo Fernandez's own suicide.

With his goal, Messi became the oldest goalscorer for Argentina in the World Cup. In addition, Messi also added to his number of goals in all World Cups with 9 goals, he only lost to Gabriel Batistuta with 10 goals.

Review of the Top 16 of the 2022 World Cup: Morocco Sets a Record, Portugal Goes Crazy!
Julain Alvarez scores against Australia | Source: FIFA

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The defending champion again showing his spurs. They managed to overthrow Poland with a score of 3-1. At that game Kylian Mbappe reasserting himself to the world that he is the best. Mbappe scored two goals and another goal was scored by Olivier Giroud. Meanwhile, Poland's one goal in return occurred at the end of the match through a Robert Lewandowski penalty kick.

An interesting note from this match is the breaking of the record for the top scorer French previously held by Thierry Henry finally passed by Olivier 'Go-Kart' Giroud. Apart from that, Mbappe also recorded himself with a score of 9 goals in all World Cups in only 9 matches.

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The Three Lions re-extend his hope to raise the slogan again 'Football is Coming Home'. They managed to beat the African giant, Senegal with a convincing score of 3-0. Goals were scored by Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane and Phil Foden.

In this match, Kane was finally able to score his first goal at the 2022 World Cup after being the top scorer in the previous edition. In addition, Henderson became the oldest goalscorer Inggris in the world cup when he was 32 years 170 days old.

Review of the Top 16 of the 2022 World Cup: Morocco Sets a Record, Portugal Goes Crazy!
Foden, Kane and Saka celebrate after scoring against Senegal | Source: FIFA

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Match Croatia oppose Jepang was the first game to go to penalty kicks. Previously in normal time they drew 1-1 thanks to goals from Daizen Maeda and Ivan Perisic.

In the penalty shootout, the goalkeeper Croatia Dominik Livakovic became a hero. He managed to hold off three kickers Jepang, Takumi Minamino, Maya Yoshida and Kaoru Mitoma. It makes Croatia able to advance to the last 8 with a 3-1 win via penalty shootout.

An interesting note from this match is Croatia always won in penalty shootouts in his last 3 matches at the World Cup. First in the round of 16 against Denmark and in the quarter-finals against Russia. Everything happened in the 2018 World Cup.

Review of the Top 16 of the 2022 World Cup: Morocco Sets a Record, Portugal Goes Crazy!
Ivan Perisic after scoring equalizer against Japan | Source: FIFA

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Brazil again showed a positive trend in the World Cup, they firmly beat another Asian champion, South Korea, with a score of 4-1. In that match, Neymar returned to playing after previously being basen due to injury.

The match was practically over when the first half Brazil was able to lead 4 goals without reply through Vinicius Junior, Neymar, Richarlison and Lucas Paqueta. In the second half, South Korea was only able to reply one goal through Paik Seungho.

An interesting note from this match is that Neymar managed to score goals in three editions of the world cup along with Ronaldo (1998, 2002, 2006) and Pele (1958, 1962, 1966, 1970). In addition, this is the second time Brazil have scored 4 goals in a knockout phase of a world cup after they did so in 1954 against Mexico.

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Morocco in the end could complete the task to beat Spain on penalties. Previously, in normal time, they were able to overcome all Spanish attacks in a normal way.

Played for 120 minutes more, Morocco which is not taken into account actually makes a surprise along the course of the game. Even in the penalty shootout, Yassine Bounou became their hero by keeping his goal safe and not conceding even though it was a penalty shootout.

Bounou managed to overcome kicks Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets. Another Spanish kick, Pablo Sarabia looked at the goalposts. Meanwhile, Morocco was printed by Abdelhamid Sabiri, Hakim Ziyech and Achraf Hakimi. The decisive goal was really interesting, because Hakimi did Harvest chip shot outwit Unai Simon.

With this result, Morocco being the only representative from Africa at the 2022 World Cup. Of course this is a new record for Morocco to progress so far.

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The last 16 matches produced a flood of goals for Portugal with his 6-1 victory against Switzerland. The six goals were scored by Goncalo Ramos with hattrickhis, Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro and Rafael Leao. Meanwhile, Switzerland's goal came from Manuel Akanji.

Surprisingly, coach Portugal, Fernando Santos did not play Cristiano Ronaldo from the start. That position was replaced by Goncalo Ramos, who in that match only needed 17 minutes to score and was finally able to score hattrick for the first time at the 2022 World Cup.

Another note of interest is for the first time since play-off third place 1966, Portugal could score more than two goals in the knockout stages. In addition, Pepe (38 years, 283 days) is also the second oldest player to score a goal in a world cup after Roger Milla (42 years 39 days) in 1994.

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Here are review short of the top 16 phase of the 2022 World Cup. Furthermore, the eight of them will face each other to win the semifinal position in the next two days.

Review of the Top 16 of the 2022 World Cup: Morocco Sets a Record, Portugal Goes Crazy!
2022 World Cup Quarter Final Chart | Source: FIFA

Here's a chart of the top 8 of the upcoming 2022 World Cup. We just have to wait for how the progress of the big teams will face each other. Can they go even further, or will they become the stage for dark horse teams like Morocco and Croatia? Let's look forward to it together.

Adieu!

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